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Old 01-10-2006, 11:03 AM   #21
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Many hobbyist MUDs receive donations from loyal players or friends of the creators for the purposes of helping keep their servers up or whatever, using that system could be even more inaccurate.
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Old 01-10-2006, 11:10 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Spoke @ Jan. 10 2006,18:00)
Then flag them differently. If money leaves the player's hands and goes to the admin's hands, for whatever purpose it stops being "free" according to you own definitions (and KaViRs and the everpolite the_Disciple, etc) for those players.
I might be inclined to take your posts more seriously if you didn't keep lying, particularly in regard to the fictional things that I've supposedly said. If you want to participate in such childish antics, please leave me out of it.
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Old 01-10-2006, 11:36 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Lisaera @ Jan. 10 2006,11:49)
The most accurate definition of the IRE business model that I have heard, at least in my opinion, is "pay-for-perks". This is because you do not have to pay to play the game, but you CAN pay and receive "perks" for doing so. I could say that if you don't pay you don't receive perks, and that is how the line is drawn between customers and non-customers, but that's not strictly true as many of these perks can be obtained without paying IRE.
Maybe some of the confusion is a missing word. What if IRE and related games were flagged "can pay for perks" or "may pay for perks"?

The conditional word would clarify the optional nature of purchases, and it certainly describes the business model, as you agree.
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Old 01-10-2006, 11:40 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Jan. 09 2006,22:31)
And hey, it'd sure be nice if certain people could manage to post without calling other people morons or insulting users who play particular games, etc.
As long as certain people refrain from claiming that their MUDs are more valuable to the community, that they somehow represent the MUDding community, that hobbyist MUDs don't live up to their potential (as defined by certain individuals), or that others don't constantly throw out absolutely ridiculous examples to support their claims, I'm fine by that.

Take care,

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Old 01-10-2006, 11:51 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Lisaera @ Jan. 10 2006,12:03)
Many hobbyist MUDs receive donations from loyal players or friends of the creators for the purposes of helping keep their servers up or whatever, using that system could be even more inaccurate.
Those are donations, ie. contributions without expectation of reward. Buying credits to advance is not the same thing since these are purchases in exchange for benefits.
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Old 01-10-2006, 11:53 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Valg @ Jan. 10 2006,12:36)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisaera,Jan. 10 2006,11:49
The most accurate definition of the IRE business model that I have heard, at least in my opinion, is "pay-for-perks". This is because you do not have to pay to play the game, but you CAN pay and receive "perks" for doing so. I could say that if you don't pay you don't receive perks, and that is how the line is drawn between customers and non-customers, but that's not strictly true as many of these perks can be obtained without paying IRE.
Maybe some of the confusion is a missing word.  What if IRE and related games were flagged "can pay for perks" or "may pay for perks"?

The conditional word would clarify the optional nature of purchases, and it certainly describes the business model, as you agree.
Really, "perks" is an inaccurate word if it in anyway helps one succeed.  Those are advantages, not perks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Object:  "a steel bastard sword", 14d6 dice

Perk:  restring so it now reads "Jason's sword of uber-killing", 14d6 dice

Advantage:  restring (or not) of the same sword, dice 16d6
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Minimum amount of time to reach max. level:  400-500 hours

Perk:  Minimum amount of time to reach max. level is 400-500 hours.

Advantage:  Minimum amount of time to reach max. level is 200-300 hours.
If you're paying and receiving the former in both examples, it's pay-for-perks, but if the latter, it's pay-for-advantage/success.
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Old 01-10-2006, 11:53 AM   #27
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The simplest solution is generally the most likely to succeed, both from a users point of view and from an admin point of view.

So, rather than changing every mud's listing to include the choice of "free" or "almost free" or "not remotely free" or "we think its free but they don't", it'd be much less painful if the commercial boys just had the tag "commercial", and the rest had nothing. That means just a few entries need tweaking rather than the whole darned lot.

For simplicity's sake, the way to achieve this painlessly for Synozeer would be for him to just define "commercial", and have him then require that all muds which he has defined as "commercial" must mention this in the text of the TMS list description (ie the 3 lines of blurb after the mudname on the list). That way it isn't overly prominent, database tables don't have to be changed, code doesn't have to be written, and just a few muds need to do anything at all. Maybe a link somewhere on the list to the definition of commercial would help too, so users know what they're getting into.

And, imo, commercial would be like it says on the tin, covering both pay to play and pay for perks.

Fyi, to me, describing something as free means 100% free at every point within gameplay, not free at some points but not others deeper down. As a user I'd definitely like to know this beforehand, I'd hate to invest a lot of time in something and then discover that to get to that last 1% you need to pay.
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Old 01-10-2006, 12:15 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by
Threshold is also "free to play": You have to pay $50 to register, but it is free to play. The Eternal City is also "free to play": You have to have a Skotos account in order to access Skotos games, and that account costs $12.95/month, but the game itself is "free to play".
In this case there are prerequisites to playing which make "free to play" false. No such thing in IRE's case.

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Originally Posted by
Do you think this what TMS means by "free"?
Synozeer's actions speak for themselves. You are not TMS.

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Originally Posted by
Do you think this is what players have in mind when they are looking for a new mud?
Maybe. They can make that decision for themselves.

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Originally Posted by
GemStone IV has a free draw, in which it's possible to win free subscription for a month. Therefore not all subscriptions are paid for. Does that mean that GemStone IV can advertise itself as 'free'? Do you think that sort of interpretation would be useful for prospective players?
This is a straw man argument if I've ever seen one. What I said is that not all credits on the market have to be paid for by someone. If IRE is giving away credits at some particular rate, it doesn't matter who wins them as long as they enter the currency market and can then be purchased with gold. Lotteries are not fundamentally different from random drops, in fact.

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Some entries list the feature "pay-per-play". What do you assume about an entry which doesn't list that feature?
The point is, it's NOT on the info page.
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Old 01-10-2006, 12:21 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Jan. 10 2006,11:10)
I might be inclined to take your posts more seriously if you didn't keep lying, particularly in regard to the fictional things that I've supposedly said. If you want to participate in such childish antics, please leave me out of it.
Here you say
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Originally Posted by
If the game does have costs for the players, then it is not 'free' for players, and shouldn't be advertised as such. The fact that some players can pay for others has no bearing on this - any more than a pub could advertise its beer as 'free' on the basis that some people buy drinks for their friends.
Unless "having a cost" also has a new definition in TMS, when a handful of people give away money for the game the keep running they incurr in expenses and therefore it has a cost for them.

Here also, you mention something similar disgised in your usual sarcasm
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Originally Posted by
Is a game "completely free" if you can only play it in a limited fashion without money? If so, doesn't that mean that commercial muds which give you the first month free can also advertise themselves as "completely free"? After all, there's nothing stopping you from creating a new account each month.
So, if a game requires and is forced to solicit their players to donate money from time to time to cover game expenses, and none of the players spent money on the game. the game would be forced to cut down costs or shut down, therefore these type of games are not completely free either. The first few years MudHobbiX was free and no donations were required, after eyar 3 the owned decided to add a lot of cool stuff and remove the limit of players connected at a time, so he bought space in a server, soon the MUD grew too much for him to cover all the costs by himself and was "forced" to ask the players for help. If they want to keep playing the game they like they have to spend money, else, the MUD goes back to a severely handicaped game (again, using words you like to use).

Now, as an example of you making up definitions to fit your purpose, here you have
Quote:
Originally Posted by
No, I believe pay-for-perks muds can be 'free', but not if some of those perks can only be reliably obtained via cash, as is the case with credits. Whether you pay it yourself, or get another player to pay it for you, the fact still remains that in order to play the game competitively you need to invest cash into your character.
which is of course totally arbitrary, and allowed you, in that thread, to bash the MUD(s) you wanted to bash at that point. Surpricingly so, in this new thread now you claim your intention is not to single out IRE.

Here, we see a deeper explanation of your point of it being free for the players for as long as they do not have pay (or see themselves in the situation that they have to contribute or see the game go for that mater)
Quote:
Originally Posted by
You're failing to grasp the point. It's not just "someone" who has to pay - it's the target audience of the advert (the players) who are paying, yet they're also the ones who are being told that the game is "completely free".

I have to pay a hosting fee for my mud, yet I still advertise it as "free" because there are no costs for the players - and they are the audience for my advert. The company I pay for my hosting doesn't advertise itself as free, because I am their customer, and there are costs for me to pay.
Here, is an example of you being told what I am telling you right now by a different person
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Originally Posted by
Quote:
Did you perhaps completely ignore my point about MUDs who accept Donations and incidently couldn't operate unless players paid cash to keep the hosting bills paid?Somebody, somewhere is always paying something if you're playing a MUD for free.
And did you perhaps completely ignore my point (which I then repeated for you) about your example being flawed? If the mud is advertised as "free" to the players, then that implies it is "free" for the players. If the mud rewards donations then that is "pay-for-perks", if it just accepts donations for nothing then I suppose it would be classified as "pay-for-nothing".

But the fact that "someone" has to pay for it is irrelevent unless that person is the one who's being told it's free - such as the 'mud hosting service' example which I've already posted twice for you, whereby the service is advertised as 'free' but where it's not usable unless the mud owner pays for it, or convinces another mud owner to pay for it.
Here you seem to miss the fact that "pay-for-nothing" would actually be "pay-or-you-nor-anybody-will-be-able-to-play".

Anyway, I could keep going back in that discussion, or look for the other one on which you used the same "logic" and "arguments" to keep quoting you, as you like it.

Do not be childish yourself and pretend to make others believe whomever is pointing out a flaw on your line of thought is lying.
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Old 01-10-2006, 12:28 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Jan. 10 2006,06:50)
2) You can earn credits from lotteries and contests.

But not consistently or repeatedably. You cannot reliably perform these activities to build your character, any more than you could reliably pay your rent by trying to win the lottery.
That is incorrect. The contests are based on skill, which is why some people win consistently.

--matt
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Old 01-10-2006, 12:31 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Crystal @ Jan. 10 2006,08:03)
Matt, I'm curious what your explanation is between say......a generic free MUD where no money is involved at all, compared to one of your MUDs.

They are obviously not the same, and the former is considered by the majority as a "Free MUD." So what exactly would you call a play-to-play or play-for-perk MUD? Are you saying that you'd still consider it......."Free?"
You're setting up a false assumption. It is a few forum posters who want to use the word 'free' as they want to. The rest of the world uses the word 'free' as we do. See the list above, which includes Google.

I'd say that if you can play without paying money, you can play for free. The option to buy other things is just that: an option. It doesn't affect one's ability to play for free. It may affect one's ability to be competitive, or it may not if the game in question allows one to simply invest time instead of money to be competitive. In any case, the issue of competition is not relevant to free or not free and MUDs are not inherently competitive things. They are for some people. They aren't for some people.

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Old 01-10-2006, 12:47 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (The_Disciple @ Jan. 10 2006,11:18)
Honestly, I'm surprised at the resistance to the idea of differentiating commercial games.
I've got no resistance to our games being labeled commercial. They are commercial. They're also free. I have resistance to mis-labeling our games AND to dictating to me what marketing points I choose to list on the front page of TMS. Singling out whether you have pay-for-perks or whatever makes no more or less sense than, say, labeling games as "Run by Professionals" or "Run by Amateurs."

IRE games, for instance, would be the former. Carrion Fields' would be the latter. I'm as sure players would like to know whether they're getting a professional or amateur experience as other people are apparently sure that players want to know, on the front page, whether there are pay for perks or whatever. In other words, neither of us are sure at all, and neither of us have a whit of evidence to support that.

Further, while it is strictly true that, for instance, IRE is run by professionals and Carrion Fields is run by amateurs, is this what you want to see on the front? It's undeniably true according to at least one meaning of the word, but it also serves to force games to market themselves in certain ways. Carrion Fields may very well choose not to advertise that it's run by amateurs, and I couldn't blame them. Without the opportunity to explain to the prospective player what exactly the consequences of that are, you're kind of hamstrung. Amateur vs. Professional carries, in some people's minds, other consequences. For instance, that Professional is better than Amateur. This is not true, as we know. It's merely different.

I have the same objection to forcing us to label ourselves as having a pay-for-perks option on the front page as Carrion Fields (or another hobbyist MUD) might have to forcing them to label themselves as "run by amateurs."

I'm going to cram another idea into this post too, as I'm out of town and in a hurry: I don't actually have an objection to labeling ourselves as "has the option of paying to shorten time investment", but I do have an objection to "pay-for-perks." I feel the latter comes with loaded assumptions about the nature of the game, in the same way that labeling a MUD as "run by amateurs" does, even if they are both strictly true.

I also have a problem with labeling just as "pay-for-perks" unless it includes more detail. For instance, to more completely (but still not completely) describe our revenue model, I believe the following information would need to be included:
1. Free to play.
2. Option of paying to gain in-game things.
3. All things that may be paid for may be instead obtained via either skill, luck, or greater time investment.

I have no problem to categorizing ourselves as the above. That's what we are. If that selection of options were available in the database, I'm totally fine with that. I'm not fine, regardless, with being asked to market any specific feature of our game on the front page, as I don't believe that the option of pay-for-perks is proveable, at all, as being more important to players than a host of other options (such as the level of customer service, whether it's a PK mud, whether it's an RP enforced mud, etc etc etc)

--matt
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Old 01-10-2006, 01:33 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Jan. 10 2006,13:47)
I'm not fine, regardless, with being asked to market any specific feature of our game on the front page, as I don't believe that the option of pay-for-perks is proveable, at all, as being more important to players than a host of other options (such as the level of customer service, whether it's a PK mud, whether it's an RP enforced mud, etc etc etc)
I'd say it's roughly as important as those things.

I'd also be in favor of flagging RP into one of a few categories and PK into one of a few categories as well, although that's not what we're discussing here. It's as true that many players know what they want in those categories as well, and these would also be ways the site could be improved.

(Level of customer service is too hard to objectively quantify, especially if games have to self-rate. It's in a game's best interest to rate things like RP level and PK level accurately, on the other hand.)
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Old 01-10-2006, 01:57 PM   #34
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The mudding world comes in a whole rainbow of colours. We celebrate the unique nature of the many different text based worlds we occupy, yet we insist on using such black and white terms to describe them. Pay or free... Hack n slash, or rpi... pk bloodfest, or pk free. There sees to be little concession to the fact that the muds listed here cover a far broader spectrum.

My mud offers a small thank you for donations, it's small, really it is because if it was actually worth having and gave an advantage to players we'd have more of them donating! yet I've been scolded in the past for calling our mud free. My mud dosn't have perma death so it's been called hack n slash as it doesn't tick all the 'RPI' boxes. I could list alot of things that my mud supposedly is or isn't according to those who see the world in only two shades.

I do have to wonder if all the nitpicking and pedantics is really about wanting to provide the right information for prospective players, or just yet another attempt to discredit certain muds in order to make your own realm look better. I'm not a fan of IRE games, but these constant chest beating matches that crop up every time Matt posts have got me wondering just what the motives are for arguing these points.

I'm all for having a wider range of options as far as the pay or free situation goes, because I do not see how any mud that has ever accepted a donation from a player to help cover server costs can be slotted into the same category as a mud that can be played by subscription only
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Old 01-10-2006, 02:17 PM   #35
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Allow me to preface my remarks by saying I am in no way attempting to advertise our MUD any more than the rest of you. Also, I'm in no way giving credit, nor discrediting, either side in this debate as there have been amiable and not so amiable posts on both sides.

That said, I'd have to agree with Kaleisha's point. What does any of this matter? I'm sorry to say this, but with respect to you all, this smacks of sour grapes. No matter how logical or ethical a spin is put on these posts against the "pay for perks" crowd, it sounds like the freebie MUDs are upset that the perennial top 3 on TMS are "quasi-free" (my new term, dig it ) and not "true purist free". Now, our MUD is one of the latter, so I'm not hyping "quasi-free" for self-benefit. In a way, I envy those guys because I'd LOVE to make income IMP-ing because I enjoy what I do. And though I feel we have one of the best, most balanced PK, enforced RP MUDs out there (/shameless plug), I have to accept the fact that we will not have 1500 to 3000 votes or players, so we focus on getting our MUD up there as high as we can (usually aiming for Carrion Fields, our "sister" MUD - much respect Valg, just good natured competition) with no perks, no rewards, no scripts, no global echoes, and no money ever required from the players. (We do happily accept donations toward server fees and advertising, but contributors are not rewarded.)

The question is why are they so successful if they are being as "deceitful" as some posters have claimed? I believe it's a fact of our fast food, microwavable, gottahaveityesterday, world. More players would rather "buy it" than "earn" it. Now that's not to say people don't earn rank and noteriety in the quasi-free MUDs, but I think it's more palatable to some to advance to the top in record speed with the spending of some extraneous dough. Personally, if there are those turned off by it or who feel "screwed" after investing time and effort into a character and then finds themselves on an uneven playing field with the "perked out" crowd, all the better for us totally free MUDs.

My point is: either way, both types of MUDs provide a service to their type of player. They are responsible for their own consciences, not me. If they feel they have adequately informed their players beforehand, that's between them and their players. But I'm not going to ask them to be cast into outer darkness so I can get my MUD's rank higher, which is what these posts start to sound like after awhile.

Again, not trying to insult any of you, just one guy's opinion.
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Old 01-10-2006, 02:47 PM   #36
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I debated getting back into this argument, because I think I've already said my piece, and I doubt I'll change any minds. But oh well.... Believe it or not, I'm trying to be reasonable here....

I get, every year, enough frequent flyer miles through "free perks" from credit card companies, rental car agencies, and hotels to take at least 2 trips free. Yet we'd sue the airlines in a heartbeat if they started advertising themselves as "free to fly".

In advertising, it is not sufficient to make a completely true statement--it also has to be a not-misleading statement. For example, in the recent past, I believe the government has started to regulate the advertising terms "low-fat" and "light cigarettes" not because the claims were false (and they were not), but because they were misleading. The fact that they were universally used in the industries they pertained to before the gov't changed the rules did not matter.

Let's face it, advertising is basically taking stretching truth to an art form, no matter what the product or service. The line between ethical and unethical is in the eye of the beholder, and the government.

OK, if someone wants my definition of what makes a game, or anything else "free" that is not misleading, here it is: that a sizeable portion of the customer base uses it freely. This makes it a rather functional definition: It's usable/fun/etc. enough for a large enough group of people to see it that way. Otherwise, the "free" label is mostly a bait-and-switch ploy. I'd say that fraction should be somewhere around 20-25%. But again, here we'd argue as to the number.

The #1 thing that puts the "free" label on the IRE games on very shaky ethical grounds for me is the lack of documentation about the number of lessons it takes to level your skills. Without this vital piece of information, a prospective player can't evaluate the economics of the credit system for themselves. Oh, and by the way, the numbers attributed to me in an earlier post probably overstate it a little, because rereading the docs, I found that mini-skills take less lessons. How many less? I have no idea--it's not documented, and even my guild doesn't have those numbers posted. I also cannot inquire using a command in the game as to how many lessons I've spent on my skills, so at this point, I still have no clue.

And by the way, being one of those players in games that use spreadsheets and databases to understand games down to their basics, the above, and the implication it had on my RL costs was not apparent to me for at least a couple of months. The credits I bought using the 21-day novice bonus were plenty to handle skills at the beginning. I was just beginning to burn them up pretty quick near the end as I started getting to higher levels. If I had continued, I no doubt would have been spending at probably a rate 3x or more what I spend on a graphical "commercial" MMORPG, which I found astonishing. And that's without a single artifact... But that would have been my choice had I done that. Luckily, I decided to walk away...

I'd also question the ability of the credit market to support free players with enough credits at reasonable prices, but that's really hard to predict. It looks like there about 434 credits for sale right now (at about an avg of 3k/credit). But last summer, the number took a big dip, and prices almost doubled. Without following the market daily, it's hard to say whether there's enough there to support say, 5 or 10 players getting gold and buying them up to play free. It might be an interesting test, but I have no time for it, and no inclination to grief existing players if it does send prices through the roof.
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Old 01-10-2006, 02:52 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (eiz @ Jan. 10 2006,19:15)
In this case there are prerequisites to playing which make "free to play" false.
Where do have these prerequisites suddenly come from?  You yourself stated that IRE games are free to play because "the definition of free to play (which is what they SAY) is free to play".  Well, based on that definition, so are Threshold and The Eternal City.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Do you think this what TMS means by "free"?

Synozeer's actions speak for themselves. You are not TMS.
Yeah, it's starting to get difficult to answer my questions, isn't it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Do you think this is what players have in mind when they are looking for a new mud?

Maybe. They can make that decision for themselves.
How are they supposed to do that when you can't agree with your own definition of "free to play"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by
GemStone IV has a free draw, in which it's possible to win free subscription for a month.  Therefore not all subscriptions are paid for.  Does that mean that GemStone IV can advertise itself as 'free'?  Do you think that sort of interpretation would be useful for prospective players?

This is a straw man argument if I've ever seen one.
No, I am simply pointing out the flaw with claiming that contests can remove the payment requirement.  A rule made for one mud should exist for all - and if were ruled that advancement earned through contests counts as a valid alternative to payment, then such muds would be perfectly entitled to list themselves as free as well.

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Originally Posted by
What I said is that not all credits on the market have to be paid for by someone.
I understand what you're trying to say, but what you don't seem to realise is that many of the pay-to-play muds have the same sort of approach, and could use the same reasoning to list themselves as free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Some entries list the feature "pay-per-play".  What do you assume about an entry which doesn't list that feature?

The point is, it's NOT on the info page.
Neither are "Playerkilling banned", "No Quests" or "Level-based System".



Quote:
Originally Posted by (Spoke @ Jan. 10 2006,19:21)
Unless "having a cost" also has a new definition in TMS, when a handful of people give away money for the game the keep running they incurr in expenses and therefore it has a cost for them.
My post was in direct response to your statement "If a player can get or not in-game advantage has no bearing on the labeling a game "free to play"."

Is that the best counter you can come up with?  To deliberately quote me out of context in an attempt to make it look as if I'm saying something I'm not?  You really are pathetic...



Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Jan. 10 2006,19:28)
That is incorrect. The contests are based on skill, which is why some people win consistently.
Approximately what percentage of the overall credits within your mud would you say come from contests?



Quote:
Originally Posted by (Kaleisha @ Jan. 10 2006,20:57)
I do have to wonder if all the nitpicking and pedantics is really about wanting to provide the right information for prospective players, or just yet another attempt to discredit certain muds in order to make your own realm look better.
It is about wanting to provide the right information for prospective players - or at least, not providing misleading information.  I've recommended that the whole "pay-for-play" entry be removed entirely, but it seems that some people don't want that, either.  I wonder why.

It makes little difference to me personally, as I specifically choose not to list my mud on TMS.  However I still dislike the idea of players being mislead, and have been flaming such adverts long before TMS or IRE existed.
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Old 01-10-2006, 02:59 PM   #38
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I've said it before and I'll say it again: It shouldn't be a question of "free" vs. "anything else." It should be a matter of "commercial" and "non-commercial."

IRE runs a business. One of the aspects of its business is to make a profit (whether it does or not is irrelevent, though I believe it does). It is a commercial venture, and it gains its revenue in part from money paid by players for in-game benefits. It doesn't matter that those players can play without paying. It -does- matter that they can get benefits for money, and that some of them do.

The moment in-game benefits become payable via out of game currency, that game ceases to be "completely free to everyone." Because the moment ONE person does pay for an in-game benefit, it is no longer free for that one person. And so - "free" no longer applies to that player, and by extension, no longer applies to that game.

Either it's a commercial game or a non-commercial game. Non-commercial games don't accept money for any in-game benefits. Notice, I didn't say "don't require money." I said "don't accept money." You don't have to "require" money to be a commercial venture. You can merely "allow" it, and you no longer qualify as a non-commercial venue.

So I say, get rid of the whole "free" vs "pay-for-whatever" crap, change the wording to "commercial" vs. "non-commercial," and you've got everything tied up nice and neat in their own appropriate packages.
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Old 01-10-2006, 03:29 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Jan. 10 2006,13:47)
Singling out whether you have pay-for-perks or whatever makes no more or less sense than, say, labeling games as "Run by Professionals" or "Run by Amateurs."

IRE games, for instance, would be the former. Carrion Fields' would be the latter.

...

I also have a problem with labeling just as "pay-for-perks" unless it includes more detail. For instance, to more completely (but still not completely) describe our revenue model, I believe the following information would need to be included:
1. Free to play.
2. Option of paying to gain in-game things.
3. All things that may be paid for may be instead obtained via either skill, luck, or greater time investment.

I have no problem to categorizing ourselves as the above. That's what we are. If that selection of options were available in the database, I'm totally fine with that.

I'm not fine, regardless, with being asked to market any specific feature of our game on the front page, as I don't believe that the option of pay-for-perks is proveable, at all, as being more important to players than a host of other options (such as the level of customer service, whether it's a PK mud, whether it's an RP enforced mud, etc etc etc)
1) The bulk of our senior staff makes a living as programmers, more than one dealing with games. It would be misleading to call them "amateurs" because we don't charge anyone for Carrion Fields. I'm personally an amateur (I did sell some non-CF content to a small company about 10 years ago, but I presently don't derive a penny of income from CF), but you should refrain from assuming things about my colleagues.

2) Does "Players may pay for perks" suffice to describe your model? Maybe the icon links to a definition of the term. An example:

"Players can contribute money for in-game advantages. Unlike a pay-to-play model, such contributions are optional. These advantages may or may not be exclusively available to paying customers-- see the game's website for further information."

3) I think it would be useful to have similar icons for PK (all characters, optional, no characters), and RP (required, encouraged, optional), for what it's worth. Players often have strong opinions there as well.
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Old 01-10-2006, 03:53 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
Where do have these prerequisites suddenly come from?
Well, if you have to pay before you can play (i.e. subscribe to something), then it's ... not free to play. This is pretty simple, I think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Yeah, it's starting to get difficult to answer my questions, isn't it?
No, it's not. To put it simply, I can't answer because the question is wrong. I am not TMS either. I don't know what Synozeer thinks, so I can only judge by his actions, which so far amount to not changing anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
How are they supposed to do that when you can't agree with your own definition of "free to play"?
My definition of free to play is that you don't have to pay money to be allowed to play the game. It's that simple. I have never claimed anything even slightly different. If Threshold lets you play the game without having paid, it's free to play. If The Eternal City lets you play the game without having paid, it's free to play. If you have to have a Skotos subscription, that counts as paying.

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Originally Posted by
No, I am simply pointing out the flaw with claiming that contests can remove the payment requirement.
There is no requirement in the first place, but that's not the point. What I said was, and I'm repeating it for the third time, is that not all credits on the currency market have to be paid for. If nobody bought credits, you'd still be able to buy them for gold because they are given away in events. It's not just that they give stuff away - it's that there's a market for it which makes it functionally equivalent to any other limited resource in the game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
I understand what you're trying to say, but what you don't seem to realise is that many of the pay-to-play muds have the same sort of approach, and could use the same reasoning to list themselves as free.
There seem to be two things people have a problem with here, the "free to play" label which is in IRE's ad text and the database entry. I say IRE is perfectly justified in calling themselves free to play on account of the easily verifiable fact that you can go and login to their games and play all you want without spending a dime. The database listing could certainly be made more descriptive, but since it doesn't actually say anything false on the info page, I see it as more of a "gee, TMS search sure could be more helpful" thing than a "burn the capitalist pigs" issue. This is not specifically directed at you, but I've seen quite a few people throwing around words like unethical over this. That is not a claim to be made lightly and I don't think it's justified. Given the options "Free" and "Pay-per-play," IRE is more of the former than the latter, if you consider that you never actually pay to play. You pay for the +5 Sword of Super-Leet, maybe, but that's different.

The whole issue of the database listing could be solved by changing "Pay per play" to the catch-all "Commercial." I think that would be totally reasonable. Again, though, that is up to TMS, not you or me or even Matt.

FWIW, I think that even if IRE didn't allow you to access all content for free, they'd have a reasonable shot at claiming "free to play."

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Neither are "Playerkilling banned", "No Quests" or "Level-based System".
Listing "pay-per-play" would in fact be misleading and untrue - if I saw that, I would instantly assume I needed a subscription - while saying nothing does not. Unless you look at every info page until you find one that happens to say pay per play, you will never even notice. If it said Free with no qualifiers, you might count that as misleading, but it doesn't.

As for other games which do not list themselves as Pay-per-play but take your money... again, do you have to pay to play? If not, saying nothing is less misleading.
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